Monday, 10 May 2010

Sudden bounty

We've had a few wet and dull days and then sudden sun and heat. On today's walk I found perhaps a dozen Large Red Damselflies, many of them very recently hatched.

This is a male:

And this, a female:

When damselflies hatch, they have only an overall pale pink pigmentation (they're called 'teneral' at this stage), but the colour soon develops. This female is taking colour from the top down:

A couple of new hoverflies for this year:

Helophilus pendulus:

And Rhingia campestris:

I always wondered why Rhingia campestris has that very pronounced 'snout', but over the years I have taken enough close-ups to find that it has an extremely long tongue which is folded back and forth inside it. That enables it to reach nectar in flowers that other insects can't reach.

This is an Ichneumonid that I frequently see in summer. It's quite large - about 20mm long, excluding antennae - which means it must target one of the larger moth larvae as a host. Something like the Drinker would be about the right size.

Love that shadow.

1 comment:

Gill said...

Lovely - that Helophilus is one of my favourite hoverflies with its "football jersey" thorax; fine pics - with as you say - those shadows.